(April 1, 2014) Li Wufeng, the high-level Chinese minister who died after falling from the 6th floor of his office last month, once briefly served as the assistant general manager of China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC), the recent target of a two-month corruption probe that angered the Chinese public with its revelations of bidding irregularities, bribery and excessive spending by corporation officials. Li’s sudden death has caused much speculation. A CTGPC insider is quoted in this report as saying meddling by CTGPC leaders and their families in bidding for company projects and interest transfers was an “open secret” and that “even individual retired cadres were involved in the countless corruptions. Now everyone at the CTGPC is in a panic, because everyone was involved.”
This report was published by New Tang Dynasty Television on March 29, 2014
Soon after Beijing authorities reportedly engaged in investigating corruption associated with the Three Gorges Dam project, the chairman and general manager of China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) were sacked; Chief official for the Chinese Internet (Director General of the State Council Information Office), Li Wufeng, who was once briefly assistant general manager of CTGPC, suddenly died of falling from the 6th floor of his office building. Li’s sudden death has caused much speculation.
On March 26, Caixin reported that Deputy Director of State Council Information Office Li Wufeng died at 18:00 on March 24 from falling off the office building. Many Chinese media reports also followed on the Internet but were soon deleted. Caixin’s report was also removed from the Internet.
A source close to the State Council Information Office confirmed Li Wufeng has indeed died suddenly and the Office is busy with dealing with this incident. However, the source did not confirm if Li indeed jumped off the building.
Radio France Internationale (RFI) disclosed that Beijing media recently received an order, “No reports on accidental death of civil servants at all central state organs.”
Beijing Politics watcher Hua Po indicates that speculation often arises when an ordinary official commits suicide but the regime would also cover with the claim of ‘depression.’
Hua Po, Beijing politics watcher: “Li Wufeng was a senior official at the Communist mouthpiece under the State Council. His death is definitely very sensitive to the regime. The cause of death is also banned from discussion. The cover up is foreseeable because he was not just any ordinary official, and particularly it happened in Beijing. ”
According to official data, Li Wufeng, aged 56, led the central propaganda office, as the chief official for the Chinese Internet between 2000 and 2012. He was also sending assistant general manager of CTGPC between June 2007 and June 2008. In July 2012, he was promoted to the Deputy Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Office, and the Director General of the State Council Information Office.
China Affairs magazine editor in chief Chris Wu believes Li Wufeng’s suicide was related to the Internet disputes over his 12 years at the central propaganda office.
Chris Wu: “His post at the State Council Information Office was under relatively high pressure due to the tight censorship of the CCP. He has probably committed suicide because of the high pressure.”
Hua Po believes Li Wufeng’s death could be related to his one year duty at the CTGPC. The corruption at the Three Gorges dam construction has long been known both at home and abroad.
This February, the CCP official media reported that Beijing will engage in investigation of the veteran leaders of the Three Gorges construction. On March 24, CTGPC chairman Cao Guangjing and general manager Wang Lin were dismissed.
At 6:00 PM that day, Li Wufeng suddenly died of falling off the building.
Hua Po: “He was the sending assistant general manager of CTGPC. What type of interest conflict was he involved in during that time that made him jump off the building? It could be suicide, or he could be silenced. The matter must have been too complicated for him to handle.”
Weekly Times quoted the CTGPC insider, “It has been an open secret that CTGPC leaders and their families have meddled in the bidding and interest transfer. There were factions within the leaders; even individual retired cadres were involved in the countless corruptions. Now everyone at the CTGPC is in a panic, because everyone was involved.”
It is generally believed that the so-called ‘individual retired cadres involved’ are former Prime Minister Li Peng and the former leader Jiang Zemin. The two of them had forcibly launched the Three Gorges Dam project.